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This article was originally published in issue #33
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Cort’s super-jumbo SJB6FXNAT fretted acoustic bass is one of three featured on Cort’s current website acoustic bass line up. Its presentation is inviting out of the box, looking very tidy.
Headstock down, we have a smooth rounded mahogany neck that is slim in my massive hands and is capped by a rosewood fretboard. The bass body looks big and it is - it’s a super jumbo body shape with a ‘Venetian cutaway’. Don’t be put off though. The bigger body is a benefit tonally and it doesn't take long to get used to reaching over the top towards the strings. Speaking of which, the big resonant body is made from rosewood for the back and sides. We're treated to a solid sitka spruce top with an attractive, blemish free finish on our well made sample.
Across the top of the body the strings anchor to a rosewood bridge at one end and are kept in tune by licensed Hipshot keys which have a smooth operation. The bass guitar sports a 34” scale as standard.
The finer points of the bass that adds to the wonderful attention to detail include a body edge binding that frames the instrument outline and around the sound hole, a rosette of abalone. Positions up the neck are noted with simple white dots.
The Cort SJB basses come with D'Addario strings as standard, so definitely no complaints there. Tone is transferred via an ‘advanced X Bracing’ design in the body. On the knee, the SJB sounds clear, with a midrange punch to my ears. Things get hyped when the Cort SJB6FX is plugged in and we used our studio monitoring system for the review.
I really like Fishman pre-amplifiers, so it’s great to see one on board in shape of the ‘Prefix Plus T ‘ which is connected to a piezo ‘Sonicore’ bridge pickup. It’s best to check out the video to hear how it sounds and I urge you to use decent earphones or speakers as there are some useful features on the pre-amp that are hard to describe. You’ll certainly hear what this bass has to offer. what I was experiencing in the studio was tonally rich and full of character!
To sum up, I think we have a great bass here. It’s no surprise that every acoustic bass guitar on the market is a compromise acoustically - you only have to look at the size of a double-bass to realise that. Manufacturers of acoustic instruments do however go to great lengths to recreate the depth of tone and volume to compete with other ensemble instruments. Some instruments lean toward volume and tend to have more midrange presence, whereas those going for low end depth often come up quiet in overall volume. To my ears, I felt that the Cort SJB6 struck a good balance between the two with a respectable volume and also had a punchy rasp with a detail in the top end. No boxiness here either.